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The Man who started it all?

Books including chapters about the Schriever's claims:

Read an additional paper about Giuseppe Belluzzo and his claims in 1950. In Italian or English (automatic translation).

Two great Italian-language books about the history of UFO sightings and the saga of "flying saucers" in 1950 and 1952, in Italy and in the world. Both features long chapters about the claims of would-be inventors of the "German saucers".

The 1950 Volume

The 1952 Volume

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Giuseppe Belluzzo was a noted turbine expert (born in Verona, on November 25, 1876), whose nearly 50 books and many patents were highly considered. During the  Fascist government he was elected at the Parliament and was even appointed Minister of the National Economy between 1925 and 1928. He built the very first Italian steam turbines, later  enhancing them for installation on cruisers and battleships. He died in Rome on May 21st, 1952.

Rest of Article

Here it is the original article published on the Italian daily "Il Giornale d'Italia" on March 24-25, 1950.

His claims to a journalist of the Associated Press news agency arrived just during the very first Italian (and European) UFO wave, in the spring of 1950. The day after several newspapers published the Belluzzo's claims, often on their first page. "Il Corriere della Sera", "La Nazione", "Il Messaggero", "La Stampa" and "La Gazzetta del Popolo" just to name a few. The Belluzzo's interview was published that same day by many other newspapers in the USA and some other countries.

Sketches of the Belluzzo's idea of his circular turbo-powered aircraft (sketches by the Italian writer Alberto Fenoglio, 1951).

The "pipes" installed on the edge of the disc had a variable diameter. The air resulted accelerated when flowing through them. In the largest section of each pipe some oil was sprayed and then ignited. The temperature raised quickly and at the end of the pipe the air reached a speed around 700 meters/sec., able to supply a 400 meters/sec. rotation speed to the whole circular aircraft. When the oil was over, the craft fell quickly down to the ground with its explosive payload. Antoher version reported the unmanned craft as a "flak weapon".

Because of the Associated Press dispatch dated March 24 and written by the AP correspondent in Rome (Mr. Frank Brutto), his claims were published in some European   newspapers, including Germany. It is likely there could have been some possible "influence" of the Belluzzo claims on Schriever and his interview with the "Der Spiegel" magazine, published just a few days later (March 30, 1950). The near synchronicity of both stories looks quite odd, but possible. Claims of wonder German super-weapons were popular in the years following the end of WWII.

More, one of the favorite hypothesis to explain the then new "flying saucer" enigma was just the "secret weapon" one, including that saying Russian had captured secret German technology and later flown it successfully.
The original article told that some circular aircraft had been studied and designed since 1942 in Italy and Germany. By 1950 it  should has been developed far enough to be able to deliver atom bombs. It was ten meter across, unmanned and made from very light metals.

A detailed sketch of the Belluzzo's disc was published on the newspaper "Il Mattino dell'Italia Centrale" on March 27, 1950.

Another daily, "Il Corriere d'Informazione" dated March 29-30 published a summary of such claims, plus a statement by the former Air Force general Ranza, who denied the Belluzzo story. He told that in 1942 (the same year when the "saucer" was designed) he was in charge of a department of the Italian Air Force devoted to the study of new tecnologies. At that time he was aware of the possible development of cutting-edge technologies like the V-weapons and the atom bomb, but he never heard anything about a "flying saucer".

The daily "Il Giornale d'Italia" published another interview with Belluzzo on March 31, 1950 (reprinted by some other newspapers the day after). The interview was even made by a representative of the Italian Parliament, Mr. Umberto Branchi. Belluzzo claimed that the planned aircraft could fly at about 10,000 meters of altitude for 2,000 Kilometers.

Another article about the Belluzzo saucer was published on April 2 by the daily "La Sicilia", while another interview to Belluzzo was published in May 1951 by the popular monthly "Scienza e Vita". He was much more cautios with his claims: the development of a man-made "flying saucer" was possible, but the atom bomb and the missiles jeopardized its real effectiveness.

Just a few days after Belluzzo's claims, an obscure Italian daily ("Il Nuovo Cittadino", April 5, 1950) featured a letter from a reader, a Mr. Lino Saglioni.

He claimed the Belluzzo story was correct and he was one of the British commandos trained to be sent to a remote site in North-East Norway, where Germans were developing the original Italian idea.

The guy didn't join the commando force, which was completely destroyed during its mission. Renato Vesco links such a story with the development of his never-confirmed "Feuerball" and "Kugelblitz" circular aircrafts. Mr. Saglioni (whose original letter was sent to the daily "Il Giornale dell'Emilia") was never investigated, so serious doubts about the historical reality of his claims still remain.

Renato Vesco himself had a couple of letters exchanged with such a gentleman, but it seems that nothing special came out. The story was resumed one year later on the pages of the aeronautical magazine "ALI" (1951) by Alberto Fenoglio, a rocket amateur who wrote a book (1950) and several articles about German Secret Weapons of WWII in the late '50s on the pages of an Italian rocket and space magazine "Oltre il Cielo".

Some of Fenoglio's claims appeared unsubstantiated, others highly suspicious (as well as some possible fakes about ancient UFO sightings and other incidents in Russia) and mostly taken by earlier books and newsclippings. The whole story, thanks to Fenoglio, evolved even more.


© 1998-2003 Maurizio Verga